13 Jul 2012

Faleomavaega opposes American Samoa citizenship suit

2:32 pm on 13 July 2012

American Samoa's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, has reiterated his opposition to the lawsuit calling for automatic citizenship for persons born in the territory.

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday in a US Federal court challenges the constitutionality of federal laws that deny US citizenship to persons born in American Samoa.

The Congressman has written to Fono leaders explaining the lawsuit and calling on local leaders to unite in opposition to the suit.

Faleomavaega says he respects the rights of the plaintiffs who were born in American Samoa to file their lawsuit.

However, he says he believes the choice of becoming a US citizen belongs to the people of American Samoa, and should not be by judicial legislation.

He says if the court rules in favour of the plaintiffs, it will set a precedent for other provisions of the U.S. Constitution to be applied in the territory.